If you have an eighth grader in the house, you have probably started to hear about high school –the variety of courses offered, the early start to the day, the unbelievable amount of homework, and when can I have unlimited texting.  For many parents it is hard to believe that this point in the parenting process has arrived.  If you haven’t seen it already, your child will soon bring home course planning materials for the first year of high school.

As holiday memories begin to fade, your eighth grader, will be faced with deciding which classes to take in the ninth grade.   Exploring options and careful planning now will form a solid educational foundation for your child.

While the gifts you will give your child this holiday season may soon be forgotten, your assistance with class scheduling will remain with them throughout high school and beyond.  As parents, we agonize over trivial decisions concerning our children, but when it comes to making sure, they are placed in the appropriate classes we leave that in the hands of the educators. While this approach may work, it can also leave a student at a disadvantage. You know your child better than anyone and can assist the school with recommendations regarding the upcoming high school curriculum.

Read the materials and peruse the school web site to learn the policies about honors and AP courses, and how to switch into and out of honors programs.  What are graduation requirements and do colleges require more than the high school when it comes to the application process.  Do not be afraid to have honest and open discussions with both middle school teachers, guidance counselors and most importantly your own child.

In an attempt to help students and parents prepare for these upcoming academic challenges and opportunities, we will be blogging in the next few weeks about issues of concern for middle school and early high school students and their parents.  Laying a solid foundation at the start of high school will give your child a strong footing as they stretch themselves toward high school graduation, college, and beyond.

If you have an issue that you have been grappling with, write to us –we are always interested in your questions and concerns.